THE Worthing branch of Men in Sheds has expanded to new premises and launches its own shop today.
The Worthing Shed is a workshop space at the Broadwater campus of Northbrook College, where members gather every Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 2.30pm.
But as the main use is for woodwork, the shed tends to be filled with sawdust and wood shavings, so finishing and decorating pieces has been difficult.
Founder Ralph Miller said: “Now the group has The Finishing Shed in Tarring, which enables members to finish and decorate their hand-crafted items in an appropriate space, so that the finished products can be made available for sale to members of the public.”
As a result, the club is launching Shedworks, a monthly opportunity for members of the public to visit the Worthing Shed and buy items crafted by the ‘shedders’.
Ralph explained: “The Worthing shedders create original pieces from skip wood or pallets and mend existing items given by members of the public, sharing their skills to complete each project.
“They also renovate donated hand-tools for use by developing countries and take commissions for local charities.”
Shedworks will run on the last Thursday of the month, 10am to 2.30pm, and all proceeds will be used by the club for the purchase of materials, machines and tool-upkeep.
Items for sale include trellis tubs, rocking animals, children’s furniture, garden furniture, toys, insect hotels and upcycled vintage furniture. Shedworks on Thursday, November 26, will have a Christmas theme, with items designed as festive gifts on sale.
Men in Sheds Worthing opened in 2013 and was the south coast’s first branch of the worldwide movement. Branches in Southbourne and Petworth have since been opened.
Ralph said: “Worthing remains one of only three community sheds in West Sussex. It has been used as a county-wide example of the potential for Men in Sheds projects, which unite men through practical projects in communal sheds.
“In addition to providing a space for men to share their expertise and learn new skills, Men in Sheds projects have been shown by Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research to have direct or indirect positive impacts on men’s physical and mental health as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.
“I see guys come in to the shed, feeling low or at a loose end, they start chatting, learning to use the machines, sharing skills and within a few months they’re enjoying themselves, really part of the group.
“It’s fun and it’s friendship, that’s what it’s really about, the health benefits are just a great bonus and now with Shedworks we can share the items we’ve made with the public and, through the money raised, safeguard the future of Worthing Men in Sheds.”
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